Aggies Fall in Season Opener to Ohio, 44-24
The New Mexico State football team opened the 2011 season with a 44-24 loss to Ohio. The Aggies recorded 368 yards offense but moved to 0-1, while the Bobcats improved to 1-0.
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley threw for a career-high 362 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Todd Lee posted a game-high 128 receiving yards with a touchdown. Senior running back Kenny Turner added 134 yards of total offense with 93 receiving and 41 rushing. Senior wide receiver Taveon Rogers also contributed 92 receiving yards along with a touchdown reception and kickoff returned for touchdown.
The Aggie defense forced its first turnover of the 2011 season with an interception on Ohio's first drive of the game. Senior safety Donyae Coleman helped stop a Bobcat drive with his first career pick. He returned the ball 15 yards to the Aggies' 24-yard line.
The Bobcats scored first to take a 7-0 advantage on an eight play, 69-yard drive in 2:06.
The Aggies answered on the next series and tied the game, 7-7. On the fourth play of the drive, Turner rushed for 32 yards on a left side pitch from Manley.
The run allowed Manley to find Rogers for a 42-yard touchdown pass. The score was a career-long touchdown pass for Manley and Rogers' third career touchdown reception. The scoring drive covered 80 yards in five plays and 2:28.
In the second quarter, the Aggie offense faltered and a wild snap led to an Ohio safety, 9-7. The Bobcats increased their lead to 16-7 on quick four play, 47-yard drive that ended with a redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton keeper. Ohio added a touchdown for a 23-7 lead.
With 2:49 remaining to play before halftime, the Aggie defense recorded its second turnover, when Coleman recovered a fumble near midfield. The grab was a career first for Coleman.
The Aggie offense seized the opportunity and reached the red zone thanks to a Turner 32-yard reception to the 16-yard line. The play led to a 27-yard field goal but junior kicker Tyler Stampler missed wide right.
The Bobcats scored on the opening drive of the third quarter to take a 30-7 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Rogers had a 43-yard return. The Aggies utilized the strong return with a 30-yard field goal from Stampler. With the kick, Stampler moved into No. 7 all-time in NM State history with 17 career field goals made.
After two Ohio scores, Rogers recorded his first career kickoff return 97 yards for a touchdown. The score cut into the Bobcat lead to 44-17.
The Aggies scored on their next drive when Lee capped a four play, 86-yard drive with a 54-yard touchdown reception. Lee notched his first score of the year with two great moves to avoid defenders and reach the end zone to trim the deficit to 44-24.
The Aggies travel to Minnesota for their first road trip of the season, Sept. 10 at 1:30 p.m.